Reasonable Faith

By , April 3, 2013

“Come now let us reason together says the Lord”
Isaiah 1:18

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When the Lord created humanity He gave people the ability to reason, to think through situations and find answers to the issues of life. We are expected to seek knowledge through using our intellect. Nothing should be more obvious than that.

However, there are things that are beyond the ability of reason to discover. Some things about our Creator are beyond the ability of human minds to learn. We need special revelation such as we find in Scripture if we are going to learn all we need to know about the Lord.

Romans 11:33 (NIV) declares,

“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!”

Some things we might desire to know about God and life are not revealed in creation, nor are these things discovered by reason. Deuteronomy 29:29 (NIV)

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God,
but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever,
that we may follow all the words of this law.”

God has given us all we need to know in order to be obedient to His will. What is not revealed by God is not necessary in order to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord and ultimately satisfying to us.

Regarding the place of reason in the Christian life the remarkable writer and preacher A.W. Tozer wrote, “Love and faith are at home in the mystery of the Godhead. Let reason kneel in reverence outside.”

God invites us to think through our faith, but when our reason hits a roadblock it must “kneel in reverence”—as Tozer puts it. This is where some Christians stumble. They want to know all the answers to the riddles of life. They believe that they can understand all the mysteries of life.

Then, when tragedy strikes and their world falls apart, they give up on their faith because they cannot reason the matter through. They do not understand the mysterious ways of the Lord and—where they cannot reason God out—they decide life is not fair, God is not loving, and so they give up.

One great Christian thinker said, “Reason never shows itself more reasonable than when it ceases to reason at things which are beyond reason.” This is the place to which we must come as we wrestle with tragedy in life. Seek to understand everything you can. Then, when reason fails us, trust that God is loving, merciful, sovereign, and wise. Leave the matter with Him. In His own time He will make everything known to us.

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